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Bombay High Court strikes down retrospective EWS quota for Maratha candidates

Bombay HC strikes down retrospective EWS quota for Maratha candidates

July 30, 2022

The Bombay High Court on Friday (July 29) set aside the former Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government’s decision to let eligible candidates from the Maratha community to avail benefits under the economically weaker sections (EWS) quota retrospectively for admissions to educational institutions and government jobs for the year, 2020-21. The MVA government had issued government resolutions (GRs) to the effect. 

The state’s BJP-Shiv Sena government from 2014-2019 had introduced the ‘Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Act, 2018’. The Bombay High Court too upheld the Act (June 27, 2019) under which 12 percent quota was set aside for the state’s 32 percent Maratha community.  

However, the decision was challenged in the Supreme Court which first put a stay on September 9, 2020 and later struck down reservations for Marathas altogether (May 5, 2021). The MVA government which assumed power in November 2019 introduced a GR in December, 23. 2020 that allowed members of the Maratha community to seek admissions and employment under the EWS quota provided they do not claim reservation under the SEBC category. 

The MVA government issued another GR (dated July 15, 2021) after the Supreme Court had struck the state’s reservation for the Maratha community in May. It asked officials to confirm all appointments recommended under the SEBC quota in the period since the High Court upheld the SEBC Act in June 2019 and the Supreme Court’s stay in September 2020.

The division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Dutta and Justice Makarand Karnik had already heard a bunch of pleas raised by EWS category candidates opposing the December 23, 2020 GR in April itself. The bench delivered its verdict on Friday.

Under the EWS quota regulations, only candidates who are not covered under any other quota and have a family income below Rs eight lakh are considered eligible.

Also Read:  Bombay High Court limits Maratha reservations in education to 12 percent

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